Six times, the BC NDP has tried to get big money out of politics. On May 9, you can finally make it happen.
When BC NDP MLA Carole James proposed a committee to fix BC’s broken electoral finance rules, she knew that taking a stand was important – and necessary for our democracy.
The BC Liberals voted down that first bill, but that hasn’t stopped BC NDP MLAs from fighting to ban big money from our political system.
To date, we’ve proposed six bills that would get the job done.
Each time, the BC Liberals voted them down or let them die.
And each time they do that, it says something about their priorities and who they’re working for (Psst, it’s not you).
Here’s a timeline of how it’s all gone down:
May 2008: MLA Carole James tables a bill to ban big money from politics for the first time. The BC Liberals ruled it out of order.
May 2010: BC NDP MLA Carole James tables another election finance bill. It was voted down in its first reading.
May 2011: A BC NDP MLA tables a bill for a third time. Like they did to the one before it, the BC Liberals voted down.
May 2015:Gary Holman tables the BC NDP’s fourth bill to ban corporate and union donations and to put a cap on individual donations. It is part of a suite of other bills that would fix our broken electoral system. None of them make it past the first reading.
Between January 2005 and December 2015, the BC Liberals raised a jaw-dropping $103,997,993 in political donations – out-raising their nearest competitor by more than $62 million.
April 6 2016: John Horgan tables a bill to make corporate and union donations to political parties illegal. For the fifth time, the BC Liberals vote it down on its first reading.
April 27 2016: The Globe and Mail reveals that Premier Clark receives between $30,000 and $50,000 a year from the BC Liberal Party, as a ‘top-up’ to her taxpayer-funded salary. She earns this ‘top-up’ by attending secretive fundraising dinners with elite BC Liberal donors who pay up to $10,000 a plate to attend.
January 16 2017: The BC Liberals announce that they raised 12 million in 2016 and 2 million so far in 2017.
February 16 2017: John Horgan tables a bill to end big-money donations, now called the ‘Get Big Money Out Of Politics’ Bill.
February 18, 2017: The Globe and Mail reveals lobbyists donating to the BC Liberals may have done so on behalf of their clients. If those lobbyists were repaid by the companies they represented, it breaks one of the few laws BC does have on political fundraising. And the punishments aren’t small, either: Up to a $10,000 fine or even jail time.
March 6 2017: Elections BC confirms that it is investigating donation practices by BC Liberal donors.
March 10 2017: Elections BC officially refers the investigation to the RCMP.
March 16 2017: The BC Liberals end the legislative session without moving forward on Horgan’s bill – or their own.
That evening the Vancouver Sun reports that more than half of the BC Liberal’s top 50 donors have received money from the BC government, totalling a staggering $885 million between 2007 and 2016.
If you’re frustrated just reading this, you’re not alone. More than 7,000 people have joined our call to ban big money, and seven in ten British Columbians support ending union and corporate donations to political parties.
It’s time for a government that works for you, not for big-money donors. We will ban union and corporate donations, and put a hard cap on individual donations.
There’s only one way to break big money’s grip on the BC government. Vote for the BC NDP on May 9.